HIV and Visna

Tom Keske tkeske at
Thu Nov 25 01:34:50 EST 1999

> If the technical cites do exist, and if you have read them, can you
> explain, from your understanding, what a correct interpretation would
> be? I am not a scientist but I can usually follow fairly technical
> details and would appreciate understanding why AIDS could _not_ be an
> engineered virus.

Of course, a real scientist does not start with the premise "AIDS could
not possibly be engineered", and then say , "Now, find a way to prove
it me, so I can understand why".

Then, you would have the gall, yet,  to parade yourselves as the "objective"
and "unbiased" ones, and us as the uncritical, gullible "conspiracy nuts".

What does "engineered virus" mean to you?   Assembled gene-by-gene?
Spliced together from other viruses?

Are you aware of "animal mixers"?   When two different viruses infect
the same host cell, at the same time, and reproduce,
you can wind up with a hybrid virus- as simple as that, a child could
do it.  Doesn't even require recombinant DNA/RNA.

Not even this level of engineering is necessary for man-made origin
of an epidemic.  All it would take is to find a chimp virus, put it into
some vaccines and give it to gay men.

You can approximate the statistical odds for 11 out of the first
24 AIDS victims in San Francisco being vaccine trial participants.
It is astronomically improbable, even if you consider only a subset
of equally promiscuous gays in the general population, who would
not differ from the vaccine group.

It is quite enough to prove that HIV was in those vaccines, as the
by far the most likely explanation.    How did it get there?   Supposedly
any one of *three* methods used to inactivate the vaccine- formalin,
etc.,  should have destroyed HIV.

Add to this, the same pattern of vaccine connection in NY, SF, and
in Africa.   Add to this, extensive retrovirus research preceding
AIDS, followed by the same people getting assigned to work on
the vaccine trials (Francis), or to "investigate" the new AIDS outbreak

I am not impressed when people say this doesn't "prove"
anything.  We live in a world where virtually nothing can
be "proven" in an absolute sense.   The question is, what
will we believe, based on the necessarily-imperfect information,
and what actions do we take, based on those beliefs?

One must deal with shadows on a wall, too.  You live in a
high-crime neighborhood.  You see a shadow of a figure
who looks like he's ready to crush your skull with a baseball
bat.  Or, is it a loaf of French bread?   Or maybe it looks much
like a gun, but maybe he's just making hand puppets.

It is rational to be "paranoid".  You also might have a heavy
decision to make- do you pull out a gun and fire into that
shadow, or hope that it's only a hand puppet or loaf
of French bread, and take a chance that it might kill you?

How should gays evaluate this situation?

In my opinion, we should look at people like Sen. Jesse
Helms, a friend of murder/torturer Augusto Pinochet,
also a crackpot who once wanted to deny even Social
Security benefits to elderly gays, and who also is in such a
high position that he's a chairman of our Senate Foreign
Relations Committee.

We should judge on the basis of people like talk radio
host Bob Grant, who said that people ought to mow down
gays with machine guns.  We should judge on the basis
of Ronald Reagan, who saluted Grant, and wanted to
slash CDC funding.

We should judge on the basis of Tuskegee, Watergate,
Mai Lai, Guatemala.

We should judge that it was murder, "proof" not needed.
Circumstantial evidence is more than enough.  If
you don't like it, then America should have thought of that
when it sucked up to people like Ronald Reagan and the
Religious Right as it did.

This damnable country is a civil and religious war, just
waiting to happen.   May the hell of Northern Ireland be
its fate, if it doesn't start owning up to its past in a
big way, in a big hurry.   Snotful gobbledy-gook and
condescension is certainly not going to save it.

Tom Keske

More information about the Microbio mailing list